For Mother’s Day

We see you in the morning, getting breakfast on the table and making everyone’s lunches. There is so much to do, and so little time. You are great under pressure. We see that side of you.

We see you in the afternoon, running errands, running your business, running home from work, running all over the place, running to stay sane. Each day it’s something different. Each day is stressful. We see you putting everyone else’s needs before your own.

We see you juggling twenty things at once. Where did you learn to do that? We can’t remember what we had for dinner last night, but you’ve got everyone’s schedules committed to memory. You are impressive. We are impressed.

We see you in the evening, always the last to sit down. Where does the day go? It goes where yesterday went, and where tomorrow will go, too—into the past, into memory, into the future. We see you making a future for our family.

We see you helping the children learn to read. You have such patience. You don’t get frustrated like we do. The kids are learning, but so are we. You are a great teacher.

We see you helping them say their prayers. These are the words. This is what they mean. Hold your hands like this. Say a prayer for Grandma. Say a prayer for Pop Pop. Talk to God. Ask for His help. He wants to hear from you.

We see you giving us faith. Amen.

We see you worrying. Yeah, we see that. You pace. You can’t sleep. You check, double check, triple check. You bite your nails. It’s okay. We know why you worry.

We see you getting tired. You’re not Wonder Woman, after all. You have an exhausting job. It would be weird if it didn’t tire you out. We see you as a human being.

We see you comparing yourself to your own mother. You don’t need to do that. She made her share of mistakes (even she will say so). You are doing just fine. We need you to understand that.

We see you making sure we get to Mass on Sunday. The kids are thinking about cartoons. We are thinking about football. You are thinking about getting us to Heaven. We know we’re lucky to have you.

We see you through the children’s eyes. You say you are too quick to anger with them, but they worship you. They crave and require you. They tell us all the time how beautiful you are, how funny, how thoughtful, how comforting. You are everything to them.

We see we are second fiddle, and we don’t care. We get it.

We see you helping us put our best feet forward. We know on some level that grown men shouldn’t wear sweat pants in public, but we are lazy. You are the last line of defense. What would we do without you?

We see you getting old. Is it okay to say so? We don’t mean it in a bad way. We are getting old, too. That’s what we signed up for, isn’t it? We want to grow old with you. Think of how many laughs we are going to have together when things slow down. We are looking forward to that.

We see that we are not the same. You have your ways. We have our ways. When one of us falls, the other is there to pick up the slack. We are complementary. That is important. That is as it should be. We see the value in it.

We see you the way God sees you—a life-giver, a builder, a healer, a sustainer, a partner, a leader, a friend. We adore and glorify you. We sing your praises and shower you with hosannas. You deserve every bit of it.

We see what you can’t see about yourself. You are kind. You are thoughtful. You love unconditionally. You despise injustice. You are forgiving. You pluck splinters. You know about eagles. You dig Harry Potter. You can explain the Luminous Mysteries and the infield fly rule. You are indispensable.

We see it all. We see it every day. We see so much now that we didn’t see—or couldn’t see—before we knew you.

So much remains invisible. We know we don’t see half of all you do. But on Mother’s Day, of all days, we wish you could see what we see.

Pretty Urs

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